Company shares spiked and then fell over the last two months as Salesforce.com took a look, and others — possibly including Disney — kicked the tires. But none made a formal bid.
With that out of the way, CFO Anthony Noto talked up the early response to its live Thursday Night Football video streams.
“We’re at the beginning of the beginning of our product enhancements,” CFO Anthony Noto says. But Twitter reached more than 2 million people over the first two games it offered, and 3 million for the last three.
The engagement level also was “up meaningfully” with the addition of video, with 450 million tweet impressions during the broadcast window, he added.
“You feel like you’re watching at a bar or in a stadium with other fans,” Noto says.
He adds that “we’re helping these media companies reach a younger audience” as well as mobile and global viewers, About 70% of the audience watching live video on Twitter is under 35.
What’s more, “we don’t put our brand first. We put our partners’ brand first when we’re simulcasting much of the content so it’s better for them in a way that’s not just about advertising dollars.”
He’s also optimistic about “personalization elements” such as adding expert commentators into viewers’ time lines. Twitter is weighing opportunities to provide separate pages for fans of different teams — or, in political debates, supporters of different candidates.
Since only two of the NFL games took place in Q3, the financial contribution was “small relative to total revenue.”
The company also “did benefit meaningfully” from traffic when it offered videos of the presidential debates. Still, “we’d need to have a debate every day to meaningfully improve” numbers for the quarter.
Execs say that the plan, announced this morning, to slash 9% of the workforce should pay off for the company and its investors in 2017. Twitter will “keep funding the most important areas,” Noto says.
“We’re focused on increasing the value for our investors and future investors,” the CFO adds.
Dorsey touted the company’s “cool and awesome technology” including machine learning that can instantly compress video transmissions so streamers can watch football and other live events in high-definition.
“We’re focused on building the most useful, open, and comprehensive news network on the planet,” the CEO says. “Our product is already revolutionary and we’re focused on improving it every single day.”